Back in early January, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones was arrested and charged with felony harassment with a bodily substance after he reportedly spat upon a nurse in the jail at which he was detained following his arrest. You might recall that the veteran defensive back was proven to be quite vocal while in the back seat of the arresting officer’s vehicle and can even be seen spitting in the patrol car.
From the team’s perspective, however, the Bengals are “not going to make any rash, harsh, fast decisions about the future of our football team without all the information”, said Bengals spokesperson Duke Tobin, who did at least acknowledge that he was “very disappointed” in Jones.
He went on to say that his actions were “a poor reflection of him and it’s not indicative of who he is in our opinion. I think Adam is better than that”. It has been approximately two months since the Pro Bowl cornerback’s arrest without any sort of resolution on the matter.
Both the team and even the Cincinnati prosecutor appear to be in a holding pattern, with the latter saying that he would like to see what the league might have in mind for Jones in terms of discipline before proceeding, although I can’t imagine why that might be so pertinent, as it does not change the circumstances of his actions.
The Bengals appear to be waiting upon both the prosecutor and the league before they make any decisions on Jones, saying that it will be left up to the criminal justice system whether or not his behavior was criminal, and up to the league whether or not he will be disciplined.
So evidently it seems as though Cincinnati’s opinion about Jones’ behavior is going to come down to whether and how he is disciplined for his behavior, which kind of sounds as though they are waiting to see how much of a public relations issue it might be before they decide whether or not to release him.
This is at least marginally surprising from a football and business perspective when you consider that their young starting cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick, is going to be hitting the open market in about a week or so, and the team can save more than $7 million that can go toward signing him if they released Jones, who is 33 and on the decline.
Tobin said that the team is “certainly not going to make a decision on him without more information”, but it is hard to imagine what more information they could possibly need following the release of the dash cam footage of his transportation to the jail and the fact that he spat upon a nurse.
The only information left to be gathered is simply how he will be disciplined by the league and the city, which makes the team’s official position sound fairly disingenuous at best. They should have enough information to go on now in order to make a decision about whether or not his behavior, age, and decline are worth the salary they are set to pay him.